Industrial CASE – EPSRC

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Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) CASE conversion

We encourage industrial collaboration through DTP CASE (collaborative awards in science and engineering). As with ICASE, these awards are a type of doctoral studentship which incorporate collaboration and industry-relevant training to broaden experience.

As part of delivering economic impact and increasing company involvement in our provision of doctoral training, we are committed to maximising impact by increasing the proportion of collaborative studentships within our DTP.

To support this, institutions in receipt of DTP have a target of converting 10% of the funds into CASE awards (DTP CASE-conversion).

Like an ICASE studentship, the total value of a DTP CASE-conversion studentship should be at least a third greater than standard DTP studentships.

You have flexibility in how this total is achieved, provided that:

  • to comply with UKRI training grant condition (TGC) 4, at least 50% of the total value of the CASE studentship comes from your EPSRC DTP grant
  • the EPSRC component doesn’t exceed the equivalent value of a standard DTP studentship for the relevant period
  • the industrial partner provides a cash contribution of at least 30% of the total value of the CASE studentship

There are various possible models, but options that meet these rules include the following:

  • the total studentship value is equivalent to a standard DTP studentship plus one third, with 70% coming from the host institution and 30% from the industrial partner
  • the total studentship value is equivalent to a standard DTP studentship plus one third, with 50% coming from the host institution and 50% from the industrial partner
  • the total studentship value is equivalent to double a standard DTP studentship, with 50% coming from the host institution and 50% from the industrial partner

Eligibility criteria for industrial partners collaborating on a DTP CASE-conversion are much the same as ICASE, but more flexibility is permitted. Organisations should have clear links to the UK, ideally having a UK-based research capability or commercial production capability, but links may take other forms such as having a large supply-chain infrastructure in the UK. Organisations must have the capacity to host the student for placements, and this may be overseas. The DTP-holding university will make the decision on whether or not to collaborate.

In order to be counted as a full DTP CASE-conversion:

  • the student must be jointly supervised by a supervisor from the partner as well as an academic supervisor
  • the industrial partner must offer the student at least three months’ worth of placements at their premises
  • the industrial partner must cover all expenses incurred by the student as a result of periods spent with them. This is in addition to their cash contribution

Students supported this way are still funded through the DTP and as such should be reported as a Standard Research Student (DTP). In addition, institutions are responsible for maintaining off-line records to provide to EPSRC upon request.

Projects may be initiated by the university or by the industry partner, but should be developed in collaboration, and with the doctoral student in mind.

Where it is not possible to support a full CASE conversion, EPSRC continues to encourage collaboration between universities and companies and within the flexibility of the DTP mechanism. An industrial partner can provide support to make up the studentship minimum award (subject to TGC 4).

Businesses interested in these opportunities should contact EPSRC DTP-holding universities. A list of current EPSRC DTP-holding universities can be found on Grants on the Web. You may find the Konfer platform useful in identifying collaboration partners.

We encourage parties collaborating on a DTP CASE conversion project to read the tips and considerations documents. Many of the suggestions are relevant to both ICASE and DTP CASE.

Last updated: 29 September 2023

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